Saturday, March 8, 2008

An Open Letter to The Atlantic Paranormal Society (T.A.P.S.) aka Ghost Hunters

First of all, nobody includes “The” in their acronym. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is not T.S.P.C.A. The Future Farmers of America is not T.F.F.A. Do you expect libraries and video stores to keep your "The" in the proper place? Not a chance. They don't have a "The" section. They will be calling you Atlantic Paranormal Society comma The, and that's just lame. You don't want to your archived research to spend eternity with its heading all jacked around like that. I know you can't just take the "T" off, 'cause then you'd be A.P.S. I suggest going French: Société Paranormal Atlantique or S.P.A. Everyone likes a spa. People can relate to that.

Secondly, what is with you guys always shaking hands and doing the “Wonder Twin Powers” fist bump? No wonder you keep picking up electromagnetic signals on your tricorders or whatever. Any excuse you have -- meeting someone new, meeting someone you already know, reaching an agreement, starting something, wrapping things up -- one of you holds out a fist and waits for another to fist-bump it, or swings arm in a huge sweep like an airplane coming out of a holding pattern and lining up . . . Touchdown! You shake manly hands, the Earth is moved, and radiation is released for your equipment to pick up later.

And how un-scientific can you get? You hear something and the first thing you do is start yammering about what you heard, “I heard something . . . did you hear that? I distinctly heard two words, ‘Mommy mommy. . . ’”

Well, shut the fuck up and you might hear more. That’s the first rule in any audio work. Keep the crew quiet. Even if something goes wrong. Even if you’re just out to record tire skids, and the car careens out of control and smashes into a wall or falls off the dock, keep your trap shut and keep the microphones trained on it and keep recording. There’s plenty of time for EMT work later.

You need to bring more rigor to your work. What you should do is record everything on timecode devices. The infrared recorders, audio recorders, electromagnetic fluctuation (EMF) recorders should all be synchronized with timecode so that, for instance, if anything happens in the audio, you can check the electromagnetic recorders to see if there was a fluctuation there at the same time. And you need a lot more of those devices, too. You need several infrared and EMF recorders in every room so that if you see a signal on one, you might be able to corroborrate it with a signal on another device. In the case of infrared recorders, you would have multiple angles on the same “vision.”

And I don’t buy this hearing a noise in the kitchen, running in there, and looking at the ice maker and in cabinets frantically. Your running in there may have scared the spirit away. Just let all the devices record what they can, and check the cabinets and ice maker the next day.

If you do hear something with your naked ear, don’t start flapping your own jaw about it. Instead, have everyone outfitted with a device that displays the synchronized timecode, and a log sheet. If they hear or see something, have them write down what happened and the timecode at which it happened. Then you can talk about it later all you want, and compare your notes with readings on the devices.

I would say to just set up the equipment and leave the premises altogether and let the equipment handle everything. But friend Svetx has pointed out that this may not be a good idea. She says the presence of you hunters may be necessary to provoke, or inspire, the ghosts. They may be trying to communicate, and if you are not there, they may not have a reason to.

However, friend Svetx says, talking to the ghosts is like doing oral history. You don’t want your own voice to fill up the recording. You want to hear your subject. So, hush. Just say one thing to prod the ghost, to get him started. Then let him carry it as far as he can. This is another thing we do in video production. Don’t let your voice step on your subjects’. So, if you stage a seance or whatever, be sparing with your words. Say something, then wait for long periods. Leave the ghost plenty of time to speak uninterrupted.

Friend Svetx raised another issue about your questioning of spirits. During one question and answer session in the house suspected to be haunted by Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring, the spirit kept flashing the EMF device twice for "Yes" (once was for "No"). But all of your questions could have had "Yes" answers. After you asked the spirit if it was Jay Sebring, you should have asked if it were Ozzie Osbourne. That would let you know if the ghost was paying attention.

It is interesting to note that some things that were heard on your own ghost hunting microphones were not heard on the video production microphones. And once, there was a sound that was heard twice on your mics, but just once on the video production mics. Hmm.

I realized what may cause this. There are some mics that actually receive electromagnetic radiation and translate it into sound. These mics have circuitry that is poorly shielded and acts as an antenna. In some cases, actually, they are very good mics, but are older models from the days when there were fewer E&M signals flying around and shielding was not needed. In other cases, they may just be cheap mics.

One example of this occurs when micing someone who has a cell phone on. When that cell phone sends an E&M signal to the tower, it makes a chirping noise on the mic. Neon lights are also a problem around such mics.

But one company, a very reliable brand that is not necessarily the very best but is still very good, does make its mics well shielded against E&M radiation.

So maybe the video production company was using these mics that are well shielded against radiation. This is very likely. And maybe your mics were the sort that do pick up E&M radiation. They look kind of cheap, actually. They’re just those little mics that come with those little iPods or flash memory recorders you’re using, right? Those mics probably suck, which is to say, among other deficiencies, they are not shielded against E&M radiation. So when sounds were “heard” on your mics but not the video production mics, maybe it was really E&M radiation they were “hearing.”

If this is what was happening, then this takes us down an interesting path of thought. The sounds picked up by your mics did sound like human voices. Sure, animals sometimes sound like humans. Cats or ferrets or whatever. But remember, cats and ferrets would have been heard by the video company mics. The fact that these sounds were not means, by my logic at least, that the sounds were E&M radiation. So that means there is E&M radiation out there that “sounds” like human voices.

We would not be talking about radio waves here. While radio transmits sound as E&M radiation, the radio wave is not merely an E&M version of a sound wave with a corresponding frequency and amplitude. Instead, the radio wave replicates a sound wave using certain processes of amplitude modulation or frequency modulation. A radio wave needs to be interpreted by the proper receiver to be turned back into sound. The unshielded microphone is not doing this -- it is simply receiving an E&M wave and sending the analogous signals through the audio cables to the recorder, which obediantly puts them into the recording.

What wavelength of E&M radiation would produce a human voice frequency? Let’s look at the frequency of 440 Hz, which is A above middle C, or the pitch to which orchestras usually tune. A human can sing this, so it’s definitely in human voice range. The type of E&M radiation that has this frequency has a wavelength of about a thousand kilometers. Compare this to visible light, which has wavelengths measured in millionths of a meter. Radio waves have wavelengths of about one kilometer. These wavelengths are obtained from Wikipedia.

In the folktales, there often is talk of ghosts being related to “energy” and electricity and magnetism (though perhaps the tellers and seers of ghosts use these terms very loosely). So I say okay, what if there are ghosts then? What if they do live in weird E&M-only world? Your “research” says that ghosts can sometimes be sensed as heat and coolness, that they can show up on your infrared sensors. This means they manifest in the infrared spectrum, just below that of light. They are not always seen, so they do not always manifest in the visible light spectrum. But now perhaps you can say that they “speak” in the realm of E&M radiation called, not coincidentally, “Human voice frequencies.”

Your E&M “voice” recording of the agitated woman ghost who is suspected to be Sharon Tate is chilling. Have you tried comparing your “voice” recording with recordings made of the real Sharon Tate? She was an actress. Recordings do exist. I can not bear to think that there is a Sharon Tate ghost continually experiencing the agitation she felt before her murder. Don’t you want to do something for her?

Design a device that translates your voice back into E&M radiation of analogous frequencies, and speak to her that way. Tell her it’s over. Show her the way. Tell her life was just a bad dream, and she can wake up now to her eternal sleep.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So you did some recording work for these TAPS/APS guys?

Back to "the." Is "of" in the same category? Helping my sleepy little guy get dressed this morning, I noticed the waistband of his tightie whities says "FTL" (Fruit Of The Loom). Now, shouldn't that be "FL" or even "FOTL"?

We just have to be flexible and allow folks to cherry-pick the letters for their abbreviations (and their briefs).

--Lisa S.